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10 Festive Holiday Events For Families

10 Festive Holiday Events for Families

‘Tis the season to be jolly, so I’ve made a list (and checked it twice) of Toronto-area activities that are sure to put a smile on your family’s face. It’s a mixed bag like Santa’s sack and there’s something for every budget (including free).

The Quest to Save Christmas Ho-Ho-Holiday Escape Room
Santa needs your help! Pepper Minstix, the elf in charge of Santa’s reindeer, has been kidnapped from the North Pole on Christmas Eve. As chief of security at the North Pole, it is up to you and your team to create the magical dust required by Santa’s reindeer in order for them to be able to fly around the world. Your 60-minute quest to save Christmas will be full of fun and interactive puzzles that will keep you on your toes from start to finish. Available at three different difficulty levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

When: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 – Friday, January 31, 2020
Where: Mysterious Minds Escape Rooms
Cost: $20 (14 and under) and $25 (15 and over) plus HST. Tickets available online for purchase.

WinterFest at Canada’s Wonderland
Canada’s premier amusement park has become a winter wonderland, complete with two 50-foot tall Christmas trees decked out in more than 40,000 ornaments, more than a dozen live shows and entertainment, holiday sweets and treats, a Christmas market, carolling and hands-on family activities like letter writing, crafts and cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus. The International Street fountain has also been transformed into Snowflake Lake for ice skating in front of the iconic Wonder Mountain. Don’t miss getting pics with Santa Claus or the nightly tree-lighting ceremony. Select rides will also be running.

When: Friday November 22 – Tuesday December 31 (select dates and times)
Where: Canada’s Wonderland
Cost: Ticket prices range. Available online for purchase.

Aurora Winter Festival
Back for a second season, Canada’s largest winter festival features four mystical worlds for guests to explore, as well as enchanting characters, a skating rink, 170-foot tube park, massive light displays, Christmas market, amusement rides, food gardens, live music, theatrical performances, story time with Santa, craft tent and other exciting activities. For all ages and backgrounds.

When: Friday, November 22, 2019 – Sunday, January 5, 2020
Where: Ontario Place, West Island
Cost: Ticket prices range. Available online for purchase.

Cineplex Holiday-Themed Family Favourite Movies
A fun and affordable way to watch a film with the whole family. A portion of proceeds go to supporting Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Where: Select Cineplex theatres
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Cost: $2.99

The Polar Express (3-D)
When: Saturday November 23

Arthur Christmas
When: Saturday November 30

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch
When: Saturday December 14

Christmas Glow
Celebrate the magic of the season and help the elves uncover Santa’s lost presents at Ontario’s largest indoor Christmas festival. Enjoy interactive light gardens, illuminated structures, festive drinks and food, and live entertainment all under the twinkle of a million lights. The family-friendly event also includes daily visits from Santa.

When: Thursday, November 28, 2019 – Saturday, January 4, 2020
Where: Toronto Congress Centre, North Building
Cost: Ticket prices range. Available online for purchase.

Gingerbread House Workshop at Montgomery’s Inn
Let master baker Monika Paradi guide you in decorating a gingerbread dream house of your own or with a group. All supplies provided. For kids of all ages.
When: Saturday November 30

Where: Montgomery’s Inn
Time: 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Cost: $30 plus HST. Tickets available online for purchase.

Build a Christmas Countdown Calendar at The Home Depot
Learn how to build your very own Christmas countdown calendar in this hands-on workshop designed for kids ages 5-12. Each child can bring home their newly constructed project, an achievement pin and certificate.

When: Saturday November 30
Where: Various Home Depot stores
Time: Check locations near you for details
Cost: Free

What the Elf?!
A hilarious, musical extravaganza for kids and adults of all ages. This fun and interactive performance features brand new scenes for 2019, plus all the silly improv goodness that made it a hit in the first place, including original songs by Brave Shores’ Jay McCarrol. Laughing, dancing and singing along is highly encouraged.

When: Saturday, November 30, 2019 – Friday, January 3, 2020
Where: The Second City
Time: 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Cost: $14 (children) and $18 (adults) plus HST. Tickets available online for purchase.

Etobicoke Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade
Celebrate the season with 60,000 of your neighbours at one of Canada’s largest community parades. The nearly 4-kilometre parade route travels along Lake Shore Boulevard West from 1st to 35th streets.

When: Saturday December 7
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Want more time with Kris Kringle? Skate with Santa is from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. at Colonel Samuel Smith Park. Take a snap with the jolly old elf from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., and enjoy a range of activities, including free open skate, face painting, cookie decorating, carolling and much more.

Iced Out 2: Live Interactive Musical and Brunch with Santa
Join the Ice Queen and Snow Princess as their adventure continues in a brand-new musical filled with spectacular performances, untold stories and exhilarating surprises along the way. Each general admission ticket includes the performance, kid-friendly buffet, photo opportunities with Santa, meet-and-greet with the Ice Queen and Snow Princess, sweet table, face painting, raffle and surprise appearances by the Prince of The Southern Isles and a beloved Superhero.

When: Sunday December 15
Where: The Old Mill
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Cost: Ticket prices range. Available online for purchase.